Country: Sete Lagoas, Brazil
Business: BÚFALO FERRAMENTAS
Partner School: FUNDAÇÃO DOM CABRAL
"I feel privileged, transformed, enabled, optimistic, and I have big, but achievable, plans of growth."
My father founded Búfalo Ferramentas in 1978. In 1996, I started running the business, but I began working at the company when I was 14. Although we had numerous clients, we did not have a business strategy. We also were involved in a number of non-revenue generating activities.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the company was mismanaged and the country was experiencing an economic downturn. We had a lot of debt and short sales, and we had to dismiss all of the employees. Because of my young age and lack of business education, I felt limited in my potential at the company. I also realized that I needed to learn a lot more about accounting.
Through 10,000 Women, I learned about the division of labor, and now delegate responsibilities so that I can focus more on marketing and increasing our sales. I have started to automate much of our production which has helped to increase our productivity. We have also set up a new showroom for our clients and in 2011 we gained 24 new clients. Revenues have increased 70%, and profitability has grown by more than 20%. I have paid off all of our company’s past debts to achieve a sound financial health. Because of our financial stability, I have been able to access more loans to purchase new equipment. When I started running the company, we had 14 employees and now we have 22. To pay forward the benefits that I have received through my training and mentorship, I have started a community group called “Women in Politics.” I organize meetings and lectures for local women and have been encouraging many other women to apply to 10,000 Women.
I would like to begin exporting our products, and potentially importing other products that our company could retail here. I have been approached by businesses in other regions who are interested in using my brand in their products. I am considering this opportunity and will most likely pursue it if I can be assured that the quality of my brand will be maintained.